October 12, 2001


Minister appoints new provincial court judge

Justice Minister Kelvin Parsons today announced the appointment of a new provincial court judge.

Harold Porter of St. John�s will be appointed to the Judicial Centre of Grand Bank, effective immediately. The current sitting Judge Patrick Kennedy will be transferred to the Judicial Centre of Clarenville.

Harold J. Porter has been a Crown attorney with the Department of Justice since 1988. He progressed to senior Crown attorney, then to special prosecutions, was seconded to the civil division in 1998 and then until his recent appointment served as the assistant director of public prosecutions.

This past spring, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador passed special legislation to allow for the temporary appointment of a bilingual provincial court judge from another province or territory. Newfoundland and Labrador now has it own French-speaking judge.

Mr. Porter is fluent in French. His fluency has allowed him to be called to the bar in the province of Quebec in 1993, following which he prosecuted trials, bail hearings and preliminary inquiries in French before La Cour du Quebec in Montreal.

"This is a win-win situation," said Minister Parsons. "Mr. Porter is a very capable individual who has broad experience in the law and his ability to speak French fluently will resolve the problem of having to retain a bilingual Judge from another province."

The position of assistant director of public prosecutions will be filled by Kathleen Healey.

Ms. Healey is the first female assistant director of public prosecutions for Newfoundland and Labrador. She has been a Crown attorney with the Department of Justice since 1987 in both Grand Falls-Windsor and St. John�s. She was appointed head of special prosecutions earlier this year.

"The transfer of Judge Patrick Kennedy will also fill the vacancy of a provincial court judge in Clarenville," said the Minister.

" I extend best wishes and congratulations to all three individuals in their new positions."

Media contact: Edwina Bateman, Communications, (709) 729-6985.

2001 10 12                           4:50 p.m.

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